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Horncastle: Explaining Italy's big spending

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 By Ben Gladwell

Conte counting on Giuseppe Rossi

New Italy boss Antonio Conte has said he is "counting on" Giuseppe Rossi as he makes plans for his side.

- Marcotti: Italy job a gamble for Conte

Fiorentina striker Rossi was not included in Cesare Prandelli's World Cup squad due to doubts over his fitness, having missed almost all of last season due to a knee injury.

However, new Azzurri coach Conte indicated during a trip to Florence on Thursday that Rossi has an important role to play in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign.

"We're very interested in this player," Conte said, according to Tuttosport. "I've come here to talk with [Fiorentina coach] Vincenzo Montella because we're very interested in Rossi and, together with him, we want to establish the right timeframe for the correct employment of the player.

"I have faith in Montella and I'll wait for him to explain to me Rossi's condition, but like I said, we're very interested in this player. We're counting on him and he knows it."

Rossi is unlikely to figure in the first squad Conte announces on Aug. 30, however. The 27-year-old has been ordered to rest for a week after an overburdening of the knee that was operated on earlier this year was discovered during a scan.

The former Manchester United and Villarreal forward is therefore set to miss Fiorentina's opening Serie A fixture against Roma at the end of this month as well as Italy's games against Netherlands and Norway.

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